Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What To Do With 2013

    “For last year's words belong to last year's language 
And next year's words await another voice.” 
 T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

     On this day last year, I created a list of fifty things I wanted to do in 2012.  Fifty was the magic number.  I hoped to stretch my mind and keep thinking of things I wanted to do rather than just stop at a handful.  I didn't think of these fifty items as goals, more as things that I was interested in pursuing.  No pressure, no big deal.  And then I watched myself during 2012, taking inventory in the spring, summer, fall, and early in December.  I was curious to see which ones would stick and which ones might fall by the wayside, which ones would keep my interest all year and which ones I would toss aside.  True to my original plan, I never did feel any pressure to achieve anything.  The fifty items were simply guideposts for the year.

     Over the last couple of days I have again compiled a list of guideposts for the new year.  I intentionally did not go back and check what I had written last year as I wanted the ideas to come from what was important to me right now, not what mattered last year.  And, for fun and games, I expect to take an inventory again in the spring, summer, fall, and early in December (which feels like a long time away).  I am curious about how they all play out.  Stay tuned.

1.  Learn how to sort through and organize the photos I have taken.  And
      then do that.

2.  Start and continue a Five Year Journal.

3.  Change out the countertops in the kitchen.

4.  Invest in a new kitchen stove.

5.  Remove some of the heavy wood accents from the kitchen.

6.  Investigate and possibly install a new kitchen table arrangement
7.  Participate again in the A to Z Challenge in April.

8.  Continue to take walks after work in the neighborhood.

9.  Experiment with paint and new directions.

10.  Go to Chicago.

11. Wait for something to happen.

12.  Go through cabinets and closets and pare down possessions.

13.  Avoid buying unnecessary junk.

14.  Get the right hand repaired.

15.  Get the left hand repaired.

16.  Go to Yosemite Valley in April.

17.  Investigate how to make photos and/or original artwork into stationery and calendars.

18.  Create a doors and windows photo series.

19.  Read more novels.

20.  Accept the darkness.

21. Go to Hawaii with Laura.

22.  Carry my camera as often as possible.  Use it as often as possible.

23.  Foster curiosity.

24.  Visit at least 10 county parks that are new to me.

25.  Become a member and regular visitor at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts.

26.  Visit MOMA in SF at least once during the year.

27.  Go to the DeYoung in SF at least once during the year.

28.  Learn what it means to make and apply my own rules for my own self.

29.   Practice being okay with being unproductive.

30.  Send 52 snail mail notes to people to remind them that they matter to me.

31.  Visit NYC and celebrate my birthday with anyone who can be there.

32.  Learn what surrender means.

33.  Read 26 books and keep active on Goodreads.

34.  Create a few more Saturdays during the school year.

35.  Notice and photograph flowers.

36.  Take the hand of the little girl.  Watch her.  Listen to her.

37.  Make room to experiment and play with cooking real dinners.

38.  Engage in frequent and random conversations with myself.

39.  Go hiking with Alex in the Santa Cruz Mountains at least once before the summer.

40.  Appreciate the temporary.  Notice it everywhere.

41.  Pay attention to the arguments between want and should.  Let want's voice be heard.

42.  Learn how to put the labels on the side of the blog.

43.  Remember the person I wanted to be.

44.  Schedule regular girl time with my best girl.

45.  Clear off my home desk and keep it cleared off.

46.  Explore what it would take to go to an 80% contract at work next school year.

47.  Look for surprises.

48.  Keep the dream journal going.  Listen to what I am saying to me all the time.

49.  Make room on the bench for all the characters who live in my head.  Welcome them all and listen to what they have to say.

50.  Hug myself from time to time.


  1. great list Sistah! I hope you play around with these and do as many as you feel like doing. I like that you're setting up the possibilities for more time for yourself, more attention to art and literature, more love for those close to you, and continuing to challenge yourself with new goals and dreams. I wish you the best this new year. Your goofy brother, matt

    1. Thanks, Matt! I keep on moving anyway, even if I am clueless about where I am going. Best to you in this new year too! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  2. This is a wonderful list! I like the variety and how you included so many relatively small yet important things, like number thirty. That one might be my favorite; I want to do it, too!

    Wishing you a wonderful year!

    1. Yes, and I even have some cards that I ordered yesterday to help inspire me with that one. I so often want to just let someone know that they mattered. I know the occasional time when a family from work has sent me a card it has mattered a lot. I can do that too!
      Here's to a great 2013 in your world!

  3. Good list... I like it! And best of all, you have inspired me. This is much better than the traditional "New Years Resolutions" which feel more like "musts" and often require real commitment and work.
    I will work on my list too and email it to you!

    1. Yes, they are not resolutions but more constructive ideas for things to do. I will look forward to seeing your list! XOXOXXOXOXOOXXO

  4. The one that LEAPED out to me was 29. DO IT!

    1. I want to do that - it's a tough one, though. Productivity comes with the territory.....

    2. Maybe productivity comes with the "territory," but there needs to be a balance...

  5. I am glad you did this again this year. One of my favorites from your list is 41. No. 10 made me smile, only because it seems so random, but I'm sure it is not.
    Oh, and I can't wait to see the results of 18.

    Making such a list is scary to me, because of no. 40. Making a such a list is inspiring to me because of no. 40.

    1. 40 is one I have been working on for some time. Want does not have a loud voice and should does. Chicago is about the American Library Association convention - one of our teachers takes a group of 8th and 9th graders - I want to go to see Chicago and to go on the floor of the ALA convention where publishers give away copies of books! My friend has done this for several years and she will be my guide.
      41 is one of my favorites - I like the way it is worded. I think it is going to turn into a post in the A to Z Challenge.

  6. Great list. I was thinking about the A-Z challenge and don't know if I could do it again without being super repetitive. We'll see.

    1. I go for random with the A to Z Challenge - I like that approach for me - opens all sorts of doors. and I got you for a friend b/c of the A to Z Challenge! That made it worthwhile.

  7. Great list! #45 clearing off and keeping clean my desk is a goal I set for myself. It's a great desk that I want to be able to sit at again!

    1. YES! My father build my desk - it is a beautiful roll top type of desk, I can close the top and you don't have to see anything but having it open shows the drawers and the little cubbies. I want to show it off and feel my dad in the house.

  8. Wonderful list-- you've cheered me up and inspired me. Love too many of these to list them all, but for today taking the hand of the little girl stands out. Hoping we both have a good 2013!

    1. Yes, that little girl deserves to be seen and heard. Her hand is tiny, somewhat fragile but she has quite the grip on me.

  9. I love, love, love this list--and may even steal a few of your items. :) Remember, imitation is not thievery-- it's flattery, right?

    1. You, MM, are welcome to anything that I have. Go for it!

  10. Wonderful list, I agree with Masked Mom that I might need to steal a few of these too! #1, and understanding more what my "smart" tools can really do. Some of the more introspective ones are scary, but that would probably make them more valuable...Best wishes...

    1. Nad, you too, Ms MF, are welcome to anything I have! Take the scary ones. They will be more interesting than any "smart" tool.

    2. that is supposed to be AND (not Nad....)

  11. #11 was a zen arrow straight to my heart and continues to thrum and resonate there.

  12. too many years of too many unaccomplished. . .didn't do it this year, but now maybe I will